"For more than a generation now, Aboriginal people have been on a journey of healing and renewal, taking slow, self-determined steps. Now, First Nations and Métis are gathering strength, midway on a path to recovery from an era of oppression."
The Summer/Fall 2004 issue of the Network Magazine put out by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario is called "Diverse Communities: Bridging Gaps in Mental Health Care". The article entitled "The Healing Dance" carefully presents the story of aboriginal people working together to build healthy individuals, families, communities and a nation using traditional gatherings and teachings.
"Few in number, Elders and traditional healers quietly go about their work in every community, usually outside of organizations and offices. People call on them at home, offering tobacco and simple gifts to sit with them at kitchen tables, around a fire, in sweat lodges and ceremonies."
Mary Alice Smith, or “Kokum Sam” as she is known to her family, wrote this article for the Network Magazine. She spends much of her time learning and sharing with others about how to “get along” in life. She has a BA in Conflict Resolution and 30 years of experience in community development and adult education with First Nations and Aboriginal organizations. A Métis (European-Cree) and lifelong resident of northwestern Ontario, Mary Alice lives near Kenora on the shores of Longbow Lake, where she enjoys gardening, walking, writing and jingle dress dancing.
The entire article is available on-line (without the pictures that are contained in the magazine). Click here to read the article.